Our Iran Strategic Focus (ISF) publication offers, through its combination of reports, an unrivalled depth of insight into the country’s political, economic, and security situation. It is produced monthly by our in-country and in-house teams, and has evolved over a quarter of a century in print. The report guides readers through the internal deliberations and international diplomacy, and suggests what outcomes are likely over the coming years, months, or days. To receive a free copy of ISF then click the button below:
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- Conference calls with our lead Iran consultants
The Forecast, 2018
The below is a summary of The Forecast: Iran 2018. If you would like to download the full document for free, just click the button below:
Domestic politics and policy
The moderate forces are likely to converge further in 2018 in order to prevent hard-line domination of the top leadership beyond Khamenei. In response, hard-line forces will use external tensions, especially US pressure on Iran and Saudi– Iranian relations, to impose their footprint on policies – particularly through military and intelligence operations.
Iran generally has a positive track record on internal security. Though Tehran’s very active role in defeating the so-called Islamic State (IS) has made the country a target for extremist attacks, soft intelligence, and the presence of Iranian proxies in neighbouring countries have mitigated that risk.
Nonetheless, border regions to Iraq, Pakistan, and Afghanistan should be avoided for the foreseeable future due to cross-border terrorist activity.
International and Regional Affairs
Since the implementation of the nuclear accord, also known as the JCPOA, Iran has been normalising relations with the rest of the world, especially the European Union.
That has made three international players unhappy. The United States, Israel, and Saudi Arabia are all concerned about the gradual empowerment of Tehran in the post-JCPOA phase and will continue to use all instruments at their disposal to antagonise Iran.
The Iranian economy is now firmly in a growth cycle, though challenges such as unemployment and inflation remain. Above-average growth in the services sector, especially tourism, health tourism, and IT start-ups, could act as positive game changers in the employment outlook.
The oil and gas sector remains the backbone of the economy. Iran has successfully recovered from the period of harsh sanctions, fully rehabilitating its oil production and export levels. That trend is set to continue in 2018 as production and export capacity expand.
It will be important to monitor the signing of new contracts with international companies in all sub-sectors, especially upstream oil and gas and petrochemicals. Iran expects to sign more than US$20 billion in energy contracts in 2018.
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